Real Salt Lake Sign Colombian International Nelson Palacio

Jun 29, 2023, 9:08 AM

SALT LAKE CITY Real Salt Lake has announced the signing of Nelson Palacio following weeks of speculation surrounding the Colombian International’s future.

Palacio, 22, joins Real Salt Lake following a career at Atlético Nacional that began in 2007 when he was six. Palacio has since graduated from the Nacional youth academy and has played an integral role in the heart of the midfield for one of Colombia’s most prominent soccer clubs. 

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In 2020, Atlético Nacional sent Palacio out on loan where he spent a season with second-division side Valledupar. During that loan spell, Palacio managed to 34 appearances, anchoring the midfield. Upon return, Palacio quickly asserted himself as one of the finest young midfielders in all of Colombia. Shortly after his return, Palacio and Atlético Nacional secured the Copa Colombia, Categoria Primera A, and Superliga Colombiana trophies. Despite his age, Palacio has already endured a lot of success on the soccer pitch. 

He is a fierce competitor who is not afraid to go in for a challenge and will provide incredible reassurance to a Real Salt Lake midfield that has struggled defending throughout the 2023 season. 

Palacio was called into the Colombian National Team for a pair of friendlies in March of 2023. He made his debut when he came on as a late substitute during the 2-2 draw against South Korea on the 24th of March.

“Nelson’s addition represents another fantastic piece for our roster for both 2023 and beyond,” RSL General Manager Elliot Fall said in a statement. “Providing another high-level option to our already excellent midfield, Nelson’s athleticism, composure, and ball-playing ability provide an excellent complement to every other player in our midfield. Nelson’s acquisition is consistent with our strategy of adding talent that fits both short-term needs and long-term quality. Nelson has enjoyed quite a bit of success with his boyhood club in Colombia, and he arrives in Utah excited to contribute to our pursuit of silverware this year, and surely in the future as he integrates.”

Palacio touched down in Utah on the evening of June 25 and has since completed all necessary medical and physical tests. He joins Real Salt Lake following a long Primera A Apertura season with Atlético Nacional and it remains unknown when he will debut for Real Salt Lake.

Record Breaking Transfer Window For Real Salt Lake

This transfer season has been a record-shattering excursion for Real Salt Lake and the front office. To date, Real Salt Lake has now signed four players and amassing roughly $14 million spent.

Palacio joins the likes of Bryan Vera, Andres Gomez, and Chicho Arango to join Real Salt Lake in 2023. Remarkably, all players introduced by Real Salt Lake over recent months have hailed from Colombia. It would appear that the Real Salt Lake front office believes wholeheartedly that Colombian players will play a key role in the success of the franchise moving forward.

It appears as though Real Salt Lake is not finished yet, either. With rumors suggesting that the club is interested in bringing in a fullback to round out the transfer window, a source with knowledge told KSL Sports.

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Real Salt Lake Sign Colombian International Nelson Palacio